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Mexico Attorney General Resigns; Woman Replaces Him

Mexico's New Attorney General
Mexico's New Attorney General

Mexico's attorney general resigned his post Thursday after 18 months on the job, and President Felipe Calderon named the country's first female attorney general in his place.

Although Calderon praised former attorney general Arturo Chavez Chavez, critics contend he was ineffective in combating corruption and drug trafficking which have caused unprecedented levels of violence in Mexico. In his last post as attorney general of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, he was also criticized for failing to solve the brutal murders of hundreds of women in the border city of Juarez.

In his place, Calderon nominated Marisela Morales Ibáñez, who currently runs the division of the attorney general's office that investigates organized crime. Morales has won high praise in the United States. In March, she was awarded an International Women of Courage Award at a ceremony in Washington hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Morales also helped found Mexico's first federal witness protection program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

If confirmed by the senate, Morales would become Mexico's first female attorney general. Chavez is the second consecutive attorney general to resign under Calderon's presidency.

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